Call for Applicants: LIFT and imagineNATIVE 18th annual Mentorship Program – Extended

May 23, 2024
Updated: July 15, 2024

LIFT and imagineNATIVE

All Indigenous Filmmakers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with an original idea for a 16mm short film!

Celebrating 20 years of supporting Independent Indigenous Film, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is partnering up with Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) to give the selected participant a minimum of 10k and in-kind services to create a short film to be premiered at the 25th imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival from June 3-8, 2025, in Toronto.

We are in search of an Indigenous creator who is deadline-driven and a self-starter looking to expand their filmmaking experience and familiarity with 16mm filmmaking with LIFT. The selected participant will receive a LIFT membership from August 2024 to June 8, 2025, $750 in-kind worth of training workshops offered during LIFT’s summer and fall 2024 calendar and a mentor. Candidates must commit to attending the LIFT training workshops that they registered for from July 2024 to December 2024.

The successful applicant will be provided with:
– a LIFT Production Membership from August 2024 to June 8, 2025
– eligibility to enrol in up to $750 worth of training workshops offered during LIFT’s Summer and Fall 2024 Calendar
– Mentorship from LIFT Staff and mentor, pending their availability
– Support, mentorship, and the use of 16mm production equipment from LIFT

Please note:
– Projects must be realistic in scope and subject matter as they must be completed and transferred as a digital file with closed captioning to imagineNATIVE to the theatre venue by April 2025
– Print quality film stills and a final synopsis will be required by April 2025 for publication in the imagineNATIVE catalogue and online

Eligibility Criteria:
– This call is open to Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, Inuit) candidates living in or near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) only
– Open to applications 18 years of age or older
– Candidates must commit to attending the LIFT training workshops
– You must live in Toronto or within commuting distance from the city in order to access LIFT workshops and equipment.
– Travel subsidy and cost of living are not covered by this mentorship.

Additional Application Must Include:
– 1/2 to 1 page film treatment
– A production schedule to meet the required final deliverables deadline
– A budget that shows your film can be completed within the scope of the mentorship and delivered to imagineNATIVE by March 2025 to be included in the annual imagineNATIVE Originals programming at the imagineNATIVE film + media arts festival.

Online Application Form:

For any questions, please contact imagineNATIVE’s Industry Days Coordinator Cheyanne Jacko-Sawe at

Extended Deadline is Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 11:59pm ET

About the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
LIFT is an artist-run charitable organization dedicated to facilitating excellence in the moving image through media arts education and production resources. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist-residencies; and a variety of other services. Founded in 1981 by a small collective, LIFT has since grown to become one of the foremost centres of its kind globally.

About the imagineNATIVE Institute
The imagineNATIVE Institute is a department within imagineNATIVE that houses year-round professional development programs, events, and talks for Indigenous creatives. The Institute also presents Industry Days at the annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival featuring panels, masterclasses, and networking/social events. The Institute provides Indigenous-led professional development opportunities that address gaps within the industry and build capacity for Indigenous creatives. The Institute is proud to present their lead partner Netflix and their generous contribution to this initiative.



Thursday 23 May 2024 – Tuesday 16 July 2024

Non-members: Free to apply
Members: Free to apply

Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) 
1137 Dupont Street 
Toronto Ontario